The US Supreme Court has denied an appeal by Hewlett-Packard to dismiss a class-action lawsuit against Compaq Computer, which HP acquired in 2002.

The lawsuit, filed in 2003 by Oklahoma residents Stephen and Beverly Grider, alleges that Compaq sold them a computer with a defective floppy disk drive. The company allegedly did not replace the faulty drive.

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to intervene in the Oklahoma lawsuit on behalf of HP. The case now goes back to an Oklahoma state court.

HP had appealed the decision in 2005, of the District Court of Cleveland County, allowing the Grider lawsuit to become a nationwide class-action lawsuit.

Since 2000, several US residents have filed similar lawsuits against Compaq and HP. The lawsuits alleged that Compaq sold computers with faulty floppy disk controllers, causing data loss or corruption.

The Texas Supreme Court in 2005 refused to allow a nationwide class-action lawsuit in a case that had been filed in the state in 2000. HP had argued that the facts in the Oklahoma case were similar.

An HP spokesman was not immediately available for comment Tuesday.